Prof. Dr. Carsten Herrmann-Pillath

Fellow (Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies)


Max-Weber-Kolleg (Steinplatz 2) / Raum 509 (4. OG)

+49 361 737-2809

Office hours

nach Vereinbarung

Visiting address

Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien
Steinplatz 2
99085 Erfurt

Mailing address

Universität Erfurt
Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien
Postfach 90 02 21
99105 Erfurt

Prof. Dr. Carsten Herrmann-Pillath

Research Project

Economic Philosophy of the Anthropocene

I am a researcher in transdisciplinary human sciences, with expertise in economics, philosophy and Chinese studies. Detailed information about my work can be found on my personal homepage: and on Research Gate, with many downloadable materials. My current research concentrates on two domains:

1. I pursue a 5-year project on the economic philosophy of the Anthropocene, which bridges evolutionary economics, ecological economics, philosophy, and the sciences, and builds on my magnum opus ‘Foundations of Economic Evolution: A treatise on the Natural Philosophy of Economics’ (2013). The project subdivides in several research topics, most of which focus on the ‘technosphere’. In the Earth sciences, this term has been introduced in parallel to the term ‘biosphere’ and refers to the domain of artefacts created by humans and which manifests complex interactions with other spheres. Topics are: Economic agency in the technosphere; the semiotics of the technosphere; energy and information in technosphere evolution; general evolutionary theory of bio-technosphere co-evolution; and geoethics. I published a programmatic paper in the journal ‘Ecological Economics’: The Case for a New Discipline: Technosphere Science, Ecological Economics, 149, 2018, 212-225. This work has resulted in a book (in German) co-authored with a businessman, Stephan Bannas, that outlines a comprehensive transformation of our economic system: Market Economy – Towards a New Reality. 30 Theses on the Transformation of Our Economic System (Schaeffer-Poeschel) (November 2020). On this theme, I maintain my own blog:

2. Starting out from my other magnum opus on China published in 2017 ‘China’s Economic Culture: The Ritual Order of State and Markets’, together with Chinese colleagues Guo Man and Feng Xingyuan I am exploring the ritual economy in the Chinese megalopolis Shenzhen. This includes regular fieldwork in China, where we investigate into the role of religion and kinship in economic practices. This is grounded in theoretical work on the role of ritual in modern societies and relates to recent research in China studies on ‘cultural governance’. Until 2018, this work was included in the MWK DFG Research Group: Religious individualization in historical perspective. The research resulted in book published in winter 2020: Ritual and Economy in Metropolitan China: A Global Social Science Approach (Routledge).

Aside from these two major research areas, I was one of the principal researchers of the ERA-NET NEURON project ‘The integration of cross-disciplinary research in neuroscience and social science – a methodological case study on economic policies and the neuroscience of agency’. I work on philosophical foundations for integrating the neurosciences with the social sciences. The results of this project are published in a volume co-edited with Jens Harbecke: Social Neuroeconomics: Mechanistic Integration of the Neurosciences and the Social Sciences (Routledge, 2020). My own work has been published in leading journals of the field, such as Economic & Philosophy. This work is continued with a new book project: I collaborate with the economist and experimental psychologist Frédéric Basso of LSE on a book entitled Brain, Body and Markets: Outline of a grounded cognition theory of economic behaviour (Palgrave MacMillan).

Finally, together with my former PhD student and professor at TH Wildau, Christian Hederer, I work on a hybrid monograph and textbook of economics: A New Principles of Economics: The Science of Markets (Routledge).

Further Information

  • Teaching at Erfurt University (regularly):

Winter term: Economic Ethics: A Problem-based Introduction

Summer Term: Introduction into Ecological Economics